Jenner & Block

Automotive, Mass Accident and Industrial Product Claims

In recent years, we have defended significant single “accident” or “major event” cases with multiple claimants, such as those arising out of an airliner crash or leak of a toxic substance.  For example, we represent the City of Chicago in the “Great Chicago Flood” cases, which have involved numerous admiralty, tort, contract and insurance coverage claims by governmental authorities, businesses and individuals and required nearly 400 depositions prior to trial.

The following are Mass Accident and Industrial Product Claims representative engagements handled by lawyers in our Products Liability and Mass Tort Defense Practice:

Automotive/Industrial Products

  • General Motors: Representation in product liability case involving the theory of vehicle incompatibility/aggressivity; multiple cases involving the theory of crashworthiness, airbag litigation, roll-over/roof crush, seatbelt litigation, national counsel for auto-transport carrier litigation, national counsel for company car program litigation.
  • SPX Corp.: Defense of product liability claims for various subsidiaries, including DeZurik Inc. (industrial valves); Metal Forge (tie rods); GS Edwards (industrial and commercial fire protection systems); and Lindberg/Blue M Ovens (industrial ovens).
  • Tenneco Automotive: Defense of claims involving automotive parts.
  • CSX: Mass tort repetitive stress and hearing loss claims (insurance coverage).
  • Union Pacific Railroad: Mass tort hearing loss and asbestos claims (insurance coverage).
  • Art Press Limited: Claims involving rotary die cutters used in high-speed web offset printing presses.
  • National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA): Class actions and individual suits throughout the country alleging neurological injury resulting from exposure to industrial welding fumes.

Mass Accident Cases

  • American Airlines: Defense of consolidated personal injury claims involving 68 deaths arising out of the crash of a commercial airliner in Roselawn, Indiana, as well as counseled client in preparation for NTSB investigation and hearings.
  • City of Chicago: Class action tort, admiralty and insurance coverage litigation arising out of the “Great Chicago Flood.”
  • Commonwealth Edison: Class action litigation arising out of large-scale power outages in Cook County, Illinois.
  • Tank Car Company: Defense of tank car company in personal injury litigation arising out of train derailment.